Journal

A small house will hold a hundred friends

A small house will hold a hundred friends

It has been a time where our decorative choices however frivolous they may seem in difficult times have had the power to lift spirits and bring joy to everyday living.

Our textiles tell stories. The team and I have sincerely enjoyed building a brand that highlights these stories. Stories enriched with African sentiment. And we have loved watching our community layer these stories with their own sentiment, and thread our textiles through their everyday lives. 

Lately we have put a lot of focus on our apparel, but we would like to open the space in connecting our lifestyle range to the ULO textile and brand story.  From vibrant table linen to custom handcrafted lampshades, we will spend the next few weeks celebrating the stories behind our new textiles, and encouraging the joy they bring to daily rituals and the modern day home.

Whilst designing pieces for ULO Living, I reflected upon the African proverb:  ‘A small house will hold a hundred friends’.  A proverb which my late father would repeat to us as kids.  Taken from the Duruman (the Mijikenda ethnic group in Kenya), it reinforces the importance of communal bonding, sharing and supporting one another.  It made me consider the rituals and practices which we have all consumed in a bid to fill the absence of such interaction, and I came to the conclusion that our homes have become much more than a retreat .

The lack of external stimuli has sharpened our appreciation for our home and for the simple yet important ways in which we have chosen to dress up our spaces: the little designated reading nooks, and the joy that comes from setting a dining table to enjoy a meal with family or on your own. It has been a time where our decorative choices, however frivolous they may seem in difficult times, have had the power to lift spirits and bring joy. I, for one, found myself taking comfort from my private space - the small house which once held ‘a hundred friends’ but is, for now, a little stronghold standing up to the new order really quite well.

The twentieth century architect and designer, Josef Frank, best known for lively textile designs believed that if you like everything in your home, everything will be okay.  I share his belief that a home can be much more than the sum of its parts: it can bring joy, contentment and clarity.  Personally, I have found that the greatest satisfaction comes from the simplest of pleasures.  These pleasures are the foundations of ULO Living - the little inspirational moments which we have combined with our beautiful textiles to bring joy to your everyday living.

Author: Dinzi Amobi, Founder & Creative Director of ULO